Soldiers' nutrition improves with healthier menus, study says | Mini-foods may not prevent overindulgence, dietitian says | Many babies are introduced to solid food earlier than recommended
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March 25, 2013
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SmartBrief for Nutritionists

Healthy Start
Soldiers' nutrition improves with healthier menus, study says
A study conducted at five dining facilities at Fort Bragg, N.C., found that using color-coded "Go for Green" nutrition cards and offering a healthier menu that included a lean-meat or vegetarian entree led to significant nutritional improvements and a reduction in fat intake among soldiers, Army researchers said. Data for the study, which was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, was collected through surveys and digital photography of dinner plates before and after meals. United Press International (3/25)
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Dietary Health
Elderly with diabetes face unique challenges, RDs say
Older patients with diabetes may not exhibit the same symptoms as other patients and also face complicating factors, such as dementia, dental problems, social isolation and financial issues, that affect diet and medication compliance, registered dietitians said. RD Joan Hill said a simple approach, such as a food-group meal-planning technique, may be best for counseling elderly patients about diabetes. She recommends limiting discussions to one or two topics per visit and writing out instructions in larger print. Today's Dietitian (3/2013)
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Mini-foods may not prevent overindulgence, dietitian says
Mini-meals and mini-desserts offer diners a chance to indulge in small portions. Registered dietitian Ally Gallop says the mini-food concept works if a single item is eaten as a substitute for a standard serving size, but having a variety of small foods on a plate can lead people to eat more overall. "Variety does increase how much we'll eat; we're just kind of curious," Gallop says. Columbia News Service (Columbia University) (3/1)
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Science & Research
Many babies are introduced to solid food earlier than recommended
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for about the first six months of life, but CDC researchers found that 40% of 1,334 mothers said they started introducing solid food to their babies before they were 4 months old. The researchers found that formula-fed babies were twice as likely as breast-fed babies to be given solids early. About 90% of mothers who introduced solids early said they thought their babies were old enough to eat such food, according to the study in the journal Pediatrics. USA Today (3/25), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/25)
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Eating organic food during pregnancy not tied to hypospadias
Overall, an organic diet during pregnancy was not significantly associated with hypospadias in boys, according to a Danish study in the journal Urology. However, researchers found that frequent intake of nonorganic high-fat dairy products may be linked to a higher risk of hypospadias. News (3/21)
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Study refutes link between constipation and colorectal cancer
An analysis of 28 studies found little evidence to support a link between constipation and colorectal cancer. People who received colonoscopies primarily due to constipation were less apt to have colon cancer than average. The findings were published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Reuters (3/21)
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Regular exercise in childhood may prevent fractures later in life
Swedish researchers who followed more than 2,300 7- to 9-year-olds found that those who exercised daily had higher bone mineral density compared with the control group, possibly lowering their risk for fractures later in life. The findings were presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine meeting. HealthDay News (3/23)
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Hot Topics
Institutional Foodservice
University nutritionist uses small changes to create healthier menus
North Carolina State University nutritionist Lisa Eberhart uses small changes, or "stealth health," to create healthier menus, such as switching to lower-fat milk and wheat bread and using turkey instead of beef for meatballs. She created a nutrition-information database for every menu item that students can access from their mobile devices and opened "worry free" zones that offer gluten-free and vegan foods. The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) (3/23)
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Recipe of the Day
Spaghetti frittata
This frittata features spinach and sun-dried tomatoes as well as eggs and spaghetti. Cooking Channel
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Food For Thought
It's a very thin rope you have to walk to help students be healthier, but still keep them happy."
-- North Carolina State University nutritionist Lisa Eberhart, as quoted by The News & Observer
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